Poked eye leads to US loss at Penn Relays

April 26, 2008 7:41:26 PM PDT
Any thoughts of a Tyson Gay vs. Asafa Powell showdown at the Penn Relays were scuttled when the Jamaican withdrew. And a poke in the eye scuttled any thoughts of Gay anchoring the United States to a 9-0 record in "USA vs. the World" 400-meter men's relay. Gay's squad won the 2007 world championship but wound up only fourth in a race won by Jamaica today (Saturday).

Jamaica's Marvin Anderson, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and Dwight Thomas finished in 39.04 seconds. Powell, the world-record holder in the 100, withdrew yesterday (Friday), citing a chest muscle injury.

The leadoff man for Gay's squad, Leroy Dixon, was scratched in the left pupil by the finger of the Canadian runner in the next lane. Dixon paused, startled, then started racing again and handed off to Wallace Spearmon. But there was too much of a gap to recover.

The Americans took three of the six "USA vs. the World" events on an overcast day with swirling wind. Team USA lost as many races as it had over the previous four Penn Relays combined, when it went 21-3.